The Apache web server is thought of in the same breath as web services. The leading web server since March of 1996, it is the standard by which all other web servers compare themselves. Lead by a strong team of developers and backed by industry giants such as Google and HP, this "engine" behind over 50% of all web sites on the Internet is configurable to a wide range of needs, from a small, one person development platform to clustered web servers hosting, literally, thousands of active web sites.

Apache, originally designed for Linux, is now available on Windows and Apple OSX also. Web developers often install a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/Perl) server on their personal workstations to increase development time, and they are so efficient as to run with minimal impact on the development system. By like token, an Apache server can be tuned for a small internal company web site so as to reside on the same server as File Services, email Services or Database Services without adversely affecting the performance of those tasks.

Some useful web based applications for small to medium businesses (and in some cases, larger) are described below:

Web Services

Web services for a small business can encompass many uses. Many free or commercial packages are built on LAMP, which is an acronym for Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP/Perl. These packages are not strictly for building web sites as you know them, but cover Contact Management, Calendaring, Accounting, (give more examples here). All waiting for your business. The nice thing about using web services for many applications in your business is the fact that all you need is a web browser; it makes no difference if you are running the latest G6 Apple system running OS X, running Safari or an old Windows 98 computer running Internet Explorer 5 (we recommend the Firefox web browser for all platforms, however).

SQL-Ledger

Written in Perl and using a postgreSQL database, this "open source" accounting package is maintained by DWS Systems Inc. of Canada. While it is free to download and use, you can purchase a maintenance contract from DWS Systems or one of its partner companies world wide.

webCalendar

webCalendar is a basic group calendaring program, allowing users to view and manage calendars for a small to medium company. It has a very basic interface that is fast and easy to use.

phpGroupWare

Want all of your business information available through one interface? phpGroupWare can track Contacts, Calendaring, Projects, Issues (Trouble Tickets), check and send your e-mail, and even help you build an internal web site. All designed from the ground up to be fully integrated and designed for the needs of small to medium businesses.

gallery

Gallery allows you to organize pictures and images. While mainly designed for the individual or small group, it is applicable in some cases to display any type of image. One particularly good use would be a series of photographs showing a process, such as building a house.

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